D&D 5E dnd alternate covers

ilostmyrulebook

First Post
hey everyone. I played dnd 5e quite a few years ago now and have been wanting to get back into it. Since that point, I've started collecting books which naturally makes me want the alternate covers. Setting aside the price some of them now fetch - do people play with their alternate covers or are the book case decorations? and are they only released to physical stores? would I need to ask a local store to buy them if I wanted them going forward?
 

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delericho

Legend
I don't own any, so can't comment on whether people use them.

My understanding is that they only go to game stores, but that many such stores have an online presence and so you can buy them that way - just not through Amazon.
 



Echohawk

Shirokinukatsukami fan
I get mine online from my FLGS, but it should be noted that "local" in this instance means "on a different continent" of necessity. None of them cost me more than the normal version except for Volo's, which I wasn't paying attention for, and had to buy on eBay a few months later for a price which seemed unpleasantly high at the time, but would now be considered a real bargain. Mine are generally book case decorations, but that's true of most of my D&D books, because it's generally faster for me to open a PDF or D&D Beyond version of whatever I'm reading. Sometimes I take the alternate versions off the shelf just to look at the pretty covers (really). So there's that.
 

Jahydin

Explorer
Setting aside the price some of them now fetch - do people play with their alternate covers or are the book case decorations? and are they only released to physical stores? would I need to ask a local store to buy them if I wanted them going forward?
I only buy the alternatives when I hate the original art (Eberron for example). They are plentiful and quality wise they can have the same issues as their non-alt counterparts: bad binding, smeared ink, missing or flipped pages, etc., so I wouldn't treat them as a rare collectible item.

Oh, and MiniatureMarket is a good place to snag them if you don't have a FLGS.
 

The only opportunity that I have had for a special cover (Volo's) was through my FLGS... And, yes, I use it at the table. The alternative cover edition was offered to me.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Speaking for the FLGSes out there:

The best thing for you to do is to preorder them from a game store. Either through their website, if they do that, or in person, if you have one you frequent. The "old fashioned" ones (like mine) will happily put them aside for you if you simply tell them "I want them all going forward" and leave them your contact information. Heavily "modern" ones will need you to to order them through whatever silly system they use. (I'm mostly teasing here). They should cost you no more than the regular covers. Most of them are awesome.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
Oh yeah, and my opinion on the use of the books: IME 99% of people don't buy both covers, so they use the book that they buy, regardless of cover, unless they don't use their physical books at all (either because they don't actually play, or more often, because they play using D&DBeyond or Roll20.)

All my personal IRL players buy Alt Covers from me (for the books they buy), and they use them sometimes and use Beyond the rest of the time. So "both", I think, is the most reasonable answer.
 

I have 'em all except Volo's, but I use them at the table. They're visually appealing, and since I only own one copy of each book (If I buy the alt cover, I don't buy the regular one), it's only practical to use 'em at the table.
 



FitzTheRuke

Legend
I use my books. Tore the map out of an alt cover just the other day.
One of my group did that. Made one of the more fussy ones freak out (at least jokingly). Personally, I shrug. I may own a store that deals in collectables, but I personally like stuff to be used for its intended purpose. For example, I prefer comics to be read, not slabbed, in spite of the overblown collector's market. Don't get me wrong - I don't judge people who like that sort of thing; it's just not what I care about personally.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
ALL my 5e books, ALT-cover or not are book-shelf decoration and for reading and enjoying the art. When running games, I use DnD beyond and the PDFs of whatever 3rd-party material I'm using. I don't buy both the standard and alt covers. I just buy the one I like best. Book spines don't match nicely on the bookshelf, but I don't care.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I have trained myself to use electronic copies in play (much easier on the back). My alt-covers are for display and occasionally pulled for relaxed reading on the couch. I do want them to last as long as possible. I've managed to keep my old D&D books all the way to their B/X or 1E printings (which are, interestingly, alt-cover versions) - and some of the older ones have been through quite vigorous use their life.
 

Mercurius

Legend
As a side note, I just visited my FLGS and noticed that they had like eight copies of the alt cover of Fizban's on the shelf but none of any others. Are they printing more alt covers now?
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
As a side note, I just visited my FLGS and noticed that they had like eight copies of the alt cover of Fizban's on the shelf but none of any others. Are they printing more alt covers now?
Nope. That is a weird fluke. We ran out of Fizban's Alts on Day One in spite of a big order (in fact, we didn't get our full order as it was allocated). Don't know how they have any left. Maybe a misplaced box?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Nope. That is a weird fluke. We ran out of Fizban's Alts on Day One in spite of a big order (in fact, we didn't get our full order as it was allocated). Don't know how they have any left. Maybe a misplaced box?
Maybe that store got yours.

I mostly get the normal covers, because I like the match, but the alt covers are perfectly usable and functional.
 

When i buy WotC books I switch between regular and alt covers based on which one has the art i prefer. Eberron and Ravenloft alt-cover art is amazing and I grabbed those, but the sort of stylised art that a lot of the alt-covers has doesn't really appeal to me personally. Exception is Strixhaven, where I preferred the regular cover art but got given the alt-cover art as a birthday present, and one certainly doesn't complain in those circumstances!

I do find that the soft-feel covers on the alt editions attract dust and are hard to clean though.
 

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